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Right about Burris yet again

Turns out that I’m continuing to grow more and more right about Burris’s corruption! What is it that makes me so incredibly insightful? Well, for one thing, as I have already noted, Blagojevich’s behavior has been characterized by a corruption so thorough-going as to almost represent a consistent ethical position. Would he give up that sterling record easily? The fact that he would try to shake down Burris even after being arrested increases the odds that Blagojevich is genuinely delusional enough to think that his attempts at a quid pro quo with the senate seat were completely fine.

Another point: Burris wanted that senate seat way too badly. Anyone else wouldn’t have accepted the position in the first place and certainly would’ve stepped aside when it became clear that the Senate was trying to find a way to avoid seating him. But Burris isn’t just any other guy — he’s the kind of guy who built a monument to himself and left extra space for future achievements. Naturally, he really, really wanted to add that senate stint to his amazing resume.

In short, the Burris appointment was an amazing confluence of corruption, delusion, and megalomania. Blagojevich effectively screwed over an accomplished public servant in one of his last acts in office — but that public servant was just begging to be screwed.


February 17, 2009 - Posted by | Blagojevich


  1. He also named his kids Roland and Rolanda. There is at least one successful precedent for such an act.

    Comment by RobDP | February 17, 2009

  2. Yo Kotsko! This is Capn’Pete from abandoned Take Me to Coney Island. I teach at Texas A&M University now. I am walking over to the library to check out a copy of Zizek and Theology! Amazing! Congratulations!

    Comment by Capn'Pete | February 17, 2009

  3. Hi, Capn. Congratulations on the teaching job, and thanks for reading.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | February 17, 2009

  4. 1994, Akerlof and Romer: Bankruptcy for Profit.

    If so the normal economics of maximizing economic value is replaced by the topsy-turvy economics of maximizing current extractable value, which tends to drive the firm’s economic net worth deeply negative. Once owners have decided that they can extract more from a firm by maximizing their present take, any action that allows them to extract more currently will be attractive – even if it causes a large reduction in the true economic net worth of the firm. A dollar in increased dividends today is worth a dollar to owners, but a dollar in increased future earnings of the firm is worth nothing because future payments accrue to the creditors who will be left holding the bag. As a result, bankruptcy for profit can cause social losses that dwarf the transfers from creditors that the shareholders can induce. Because of this disparity between what the owners can capture and the losses that they create, we refer to bankruptcy for profit as looting.

    Comment by John Emerson | February 17, 2009

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